Portway Park & Ride opens with 300 car parking spaces and a bus link to Bristol. A railway station on the adjacent Severn Beach Line is under discussion.
The car park is expanded to provide 830 spaces to coincide with the opening of the Cabot Circus shopping mall in Broadmead.
Severnside Community Rail Partnership try to fast-track delivery of a railway station at the site, but Network Rail and the Department for Transport insist on the standard new station construction process.
Network Rail indicate that there are technical problems due to the proximity of the West Town Road level crossing.
Portway Parkway single-platform station and associated rail infrastructure is budgeted at £2.23 million.
This is one of the first transport projects to be approved by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) in July 2017. WECA allocate £0.55 million from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) to supplement £1.67 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) ‘New Station Fund 2’.
Network Rail submit a planning application for the new station.
Bristol City Council give planning permission for the new station. The single platform is long enough for five car trains and planned facilities include a ticket machine, CCTV, seven disabled parking spaces, cycle parking and a basic shelter.
After development work by Network Rail, it is revealed that the overall cost of the new station at Portway has risen to between £3.4million and £3.6million.
Bristol City Council’s cabinet agrees to ask the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership to cover the £1 million shortfall by reallocating LGF money earmarked for other Bristol projects, which turned out to be ineligible.
The increase is due to additional costs for track drainage, foundations for signals, lighting and walkways, contractor overheads not included in previous figures and an extra passenger waiting shelter. The platform will be longer than originally proposed to “future proof” the station for bigger trains.
The report to Cabinet states:
While it is disappointing that project costs have increased, it is felt that the reasons relate predominantly to Network Rail project development processes and future proofing of the station, so the project is still considered to be feasible. If the project was to be further delayed, the LGF and DfT grants already allocated to the project would be put at risk, making the station far more challenging to deliver in the future.
Cabinet member for transport Councillor Kye Dudd says:
This project is key to reducing our congestion, helps us tackle air quality issues and is an important development for the Avonmouth/ Shirehampton area.
Detailed design is completed?
Portway Parkway will eventually be served by the half-hourly MetroWest Phase 1a service between Avonmouth and Parkway (due date 2020/21). FoSBR continue to campaign for the re-opening of the Henbury Loop which would link Portway Parkway via Avonmouth to Henbury and North Filton (due to re-open as part of the Henbury Spur in 2021).